I would like to discuss something that, frankly, I’m pretty mad about. This perpetuated idea of acne-ridden high schools has been completely misleading to me and many of my peers. I always thought that graduation came with some sort of special package: “Congrats on the clear skin!” But it turns out that all that really changes is that now I have to pay for my own skin care products. What follows isn’t going to be about the best makeup, or how to cover up that “pesty pimple” because it happens to all of us and I can promise you nobody else is noticing it. As teenagers susceptible to whatever the media throws at us, I think we get enough of people telling us that beautiful skin will lead to a perfect life.
What the media misses, however, are the serious health benefits to taking care of your skin.
First off, please wear sunscreen. I’ve applied sunscreen maybe twice in my entire life and I’m finally starting to understand the serious implications of this. Not only is sunblock a great moisturizer, but skin cancer is on the rise and not looking like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Besides, your tan might take a little bit longer, but you won’t have to go through the lobster-red phase first.
Everyone’s skin is different. Maybe you have oily skin, maybe you have dry skin, maybe you’re like me and have the weirdest combination of oily and dry. What works for someone else probably won’t work for you, so it’ll take some experimenting. I’m not just talking about facial wash, I’m talking about body wash as well. Watch for clogged pores after using shaving cream, too, that can be a real pain.
A proper balance of nutrients is important to your skin and overall health. Eat balanced meals with lots of whole grains, veggies, and fruits. Pizza doesn’t really count as any of these things. This doesn’t mean eating certain foods at all is going to make you breakout or make your pores huge; everything in moderation. Don’t throw out all of your Hershey’s bars in the hopes of finding clear skin. Most likely, all you’ll get is an extreme chocolate craving.
Hydration is #1 in…everything. Drink plenty of water if you’re looking for a healthy lifestyle. Your body is around 55% water, if that gets depleted it is detrimental to every function in your body. Have as many glasses as you think you need, and then have two more. If you bring a water bottle to class, you’ll automatically drink more daily. Why? Well, scientifically, I have no clue. Something like “out of sight out of mind.” But personally, I find drinking something is a great awkward-moment breaker when there’s a lull in conversation. I can go through an entire bottle and a half if the class is particularly terrible.
Scorching your skin when you wash is doing more harm than good. You can’t burn away the dirt, and all you’re doing by trying to is taking away any moisture left, which we’ve already determined isn’t a good thing. Try washing with warm water with a blast of cold at the end.
There are more reasons than not to take care of your skin, even if it means spending $20 on a good body wash. Taking care of yourself will be great in the long run for your mental and physical health!
By Quinn Murphy